Past events

Global Soft Power of Poland - Stefan Norblin - the Polish Painter of Indian Maharajas

Wednesday, April 24, 2019, at 7:00pm


A presentation by Prof. Piotr  Kłodkowski

Wednesday, April 24, 2019, 7:00 p.m. 

The Kosciuszko Foundation: 15 E 65th Street, NYC


Acclaimed scholar of Studies of Civilizations, former diplomat and the Ambassador of Poland to India (2009-2014), Prof. Piotr Kłodkowski will discuss the body of work of the Polish painter and graphic artist Stefan Norblin. Hidden away in the palaces of Maharajas in India and rediscovered in the late 1980s, murals and interior designs made by Norblin are regarded as the most precious Polish artistic legacy in Asia. The lecture will include a documentary film screening and PowerPoint presentation. 

The event is free of charge and open to the public. Wine reception will follow the presentation. Space is limited. Registration required. In lieu of admission fee, donation towards the KF Cultural Fund is appreciated.

Piotr Kłodkowski  - Professor at the Centre for Comparative Studies of Civilisations of the Jagiellonian University (UJ) in Cracow, and Skalny Visiting Professor at University of Rochester. A former diplomat and the Ambassador of Poland to India (2009-2014) with diplomatic accreditations to Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka and Maldives. At present he is also a member of the Committee for Asia and Pacific at Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and a member of the Advisory Board of „Muslim Perspectives" published by Muslim Institute (Islamabad/London). Piotr Kłodkowski is a UJ graduate; he also studied in Pakistan at the National Institute of Modern Languages in Islamabad and in the Republic of Ireland, at the University College Cork. MORE

Stefan Norblin (1892-1952) – one of the most versatile Polish artists whose opus magnum combines the European Art Deco style with Hindu mythological motifs. Norblin's reputation as a painter opened many doors, including those of the royal family in Iraq and Indian Maharajas for whom he painted portraits and murals. He left Poland in 1939 and spent five fascinating years in India. The grand palace of Umaid Bhavan is testimony to his broad scope. He designed the furniture and also painted enormous murals to decorate the walls of the palace's 365 rooms. Norblin's works were forgotten by the rest of the world until the late 1980s when Claus Ullrich Simon, an art specialist "discovered" the murals when visiting India. The murals were in a disastrous state and Polish conservators spent many years restoring them to their full glory. Nowadays Norblin's works in Umaid Bhavan are regarded as the most precious Polish artistic legacy in Asia. 

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